On March 4, the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) withdrew the February 28 order prohibiting professors, staff, and students from gathering to celebrate Holi, making noise and playing music. The BHU administration also threatened action against those violating the prohibition. BHU lifted the ban against Holi celebration after student protests and social media backlash.
On February 28, BHU’s Chief Proctor, Professor Abhimanyu Singh, issued the circular stating, “All the teachers, staff and students at Kashi Hindu University campus are informed that playing Holi, making noise, playing music in public places on the campus is completely prohibited. In this regard, all directors, faculty heads, and administrative patrons are requested to take administrative action against those who do so. Furthermore, make the students aware of this and ensure necessary action in such a situation.”
ABVP President, Abhay Singh, said, “It is an inappropriate order. BHU is among the top institutions in the country with a sprawling campus. If students are not allowed to play Holi here, where will they?”
However, despite the ban, several videos of BHU students celebrating Holi on campus went viral on social media. The video showed several BHU students celebrating Holi in a pool with colours and music.
It is pertinent to note that, on April 26, 2022, BHU Vice-Chancellor Professor Sudhir Jain organised an Iftar party on campus. Reportedly, the Iftar party was organised during Ramzan on the Women’s college campus, where BHU VC and other professors participated. However, according to reports, after BHU VC organised Iftar on campus, several students protested against BHU VC’s residence against the Islamisation of BHU.
It is also pertinent to note that certain Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU) students protested against Holi celebrations on the JMIU campus. Reportedly, on March 1, the protesting students created a ruckus during the ‘Rangotsav’ event organised by JMIU’s YUVA chapter to celebrate Holi, which will be observed on March 8.
A Twitter user Jatin Jain tweeted, “Opposing #Holi celebration in @jmiu_official, these anti social elements called names to students and Jamia administration. They have been given free rein as much as to dare call University Proctor, a “Hijada”. @dpradhanbjp @EduMinOfIndia @ugc_india.”
The Twitter user also shared a video where students can be seen chanting “Allah Hu Akbar” slogans and wrote, “These so called student leaders identify the common students and then target them in their class through subtle methods of silencing and oppression, in which some teachers too support this cause in misguided belief of religion and victimhood. Why raise Naara-E-Takbir agnst #Holi?”
The Twitter user also shared certain screenshots in his thread. In one screenshot, a student shared the YUVA chapter’s “Rangotsav” event poster and wrote, “Sahih Hadiths suggest that it is not allowed to participate in the festivals of disbelievers. When Hindus in India are oppressing Muslims and burning them alive just because they eat beef, still you’d want to “celebrate” it with them?”